John and Cathy Bentwood of Plymouth Selected for Granite State Award by Plymouth State University

May 14th, 2012 by blyndes

        

PLYMOUTH, N.H.— Plymouth State University will present the 2012 Granite State Award to John and Cathy Bentwood of Plymouth for their commitment to service reflecting Plymouth State University’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I may serve), at the May 19 graduation ceremony.

“The Bentwoods, as a medical team (he a surgeon and she a registered nurse) and as engaged citizens, have served to reduce human suffering by providing direct aid and assistance to individuals, and guidance and leadership for organizations that offer aid both locally and internationally,” says PSU President Sara Jayne Steen.

John and Cathy Bentwood

Like so many New Hampshire people, John and Cathy came to New Hampshire for a brief sojourn and have stayed for nearly 40 years. What some people see as accomplishments, the Bentwoods see as opportunities. Among their many “opportunities” are creation and maintenance of a free annual cancer screening clinic, a regional free health clinic for the uninsured, and a new shelter for people who are homeless.

“Skin cancers were on the rise. John was talented at identifying and treating these lesions and I was pretty good at starting things that seem doable,” Cathy remembers. One day every July was dedicated to diagnosing skin lesions. Between 90–110 folks would begin lining up outside the door at 8:30 a.m. We didn’t break for lunch; just saw everyone until the last patient left. We got a lot done in an extremely efficient, neighborly way, and no one paid a dime (though sometimes patients delivered homemade cookies the following week),” she said.

The regional free clinic, a team effort, was a little different, but a natural extension nonetheless. The cancer screening was available to everyone across the economic spectrum. The Free Clinic was created for folks who had jobs, but found insurance unaffordable.

The Bentwoods are currently excited to be part of a local collaboration of civilians and veterans who are working to solve the housing shortage for those who’ve enlisted in the military. This national, gold standard, Soldier On project will be the first of its kind in New Hampshire.

Beyond the Plymouth area, both have been medical volunteers providing services to people in need, whether in Honduras, Haiti, Africa or post-Katrina Louisiana. In addition to their medical help, the Bentwoods have fostered children, been engaged as court-appointed advocates for children at risk, sponsored and resettled refugee families from Vietnam, Rwanda and Honduras, and developed educational presentations for New Hampshire legislators by partnering with New Hampshire Peace Action.

The Bentwoods say it has been an honor to be engaged with others in so many capacities.  “Successfully advocating for affordable health care—now that would have been an accomplishment; closing the shelter because homelessness was eradicated would have been an accomplishment. We simply became involved in some very satisfying endeavors,” they said.

-end-

 

In the News

Example Image

PSU Earth Day a hit with students, residents

By BOB MARTIN PLYMOUTH — Whether it was the Environmental Fair in front of the Hartman Union Building or just down the road at the its EcoHouse, Plymouth State University was a hot spot for Earth Day activities. Earth Day, celebrated Tuesday, has become an annual event to have a number of off-campus and on-campus environmental [...]

Example Image

PSU honors 51 Phi Kappa Phi inductees

PLYMOUTH — At an April 13 ceremony honoring the “best of the best,” Plymouth State University inducted 51 students into Phi Kappa Phi (PKP), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. The students are all at the top of their respective majors in grade average, according to PKP advisor [...]

Example Image

Scholars from Across U.S. Gather at Plymouth State University’s 35th Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum April 25 and 26

PLYMOUTH, N.H.— More than 100 scholars will present their latest research on many aspects of medieval and Renaissance culture at the 35th annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 25 and 26 at Plymouth State University. Plymouth State’s forum is the oldest conference of its type in New England. The theme of this year’s event is [...]